Last week, I started a new routine in my life: caring for my 4-month-old granddaughter Annie while her parents, both teachers, are back in the classroom.

My daughter is job sharing, so she only teaches Thursday, Friday, and every other Wednesday. It’s taking a little adjusting to figure out how to get more done on Monday and Tuesday, so that the rest of my week can lighten up. For example, I didn’t get my blog post up last Friday. I’m working on those dropped details!

But here’s what I love about this gig:

Getting to know Annie in a day-to-day way.

Already, I feel as if I know her much better than I did. Little things, like what sounds mean what mood or when she’s getting hungry. Or how much she loves being outdoors. Last Thursday, out of the blue, she started blowing raspberries. No idea why…but oh-so funny.

Slowing down. Caring for a little one requires it! And that’s a good thing for me.

Modeling how family supports each other, even if it’s not always convenient.

And here’s the best thing of all: Annie knows me, too! Her big smile when I arrive to pick her up is heart-melting.

What about you? Have you provided on-going or extended care for grandchildren? Any tips or perspective to share?

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